THE GRANDE BOUFFE
DIRECTOR:    MARCO FERRERI
FRANCE/ITALY 1973
CAST: Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi, Phillipe Noiret, Andrea Ferreol
ONE WORD: Now, that's a story to enjoy...

( writing this review off memory folks... have not been able to find the film otherwise)

Marco Ferreri has a point of view of life that is ,... well, let's say that he is not happy about society in general, specially man's way of relating to women. And if that is not true, well, you just let the actors have all the fun they can possibly have!

LA GRANDE BOUFFE, is a very indulgent, off the wall, film, that satisfies, only because it is totally crazy, and has reached a point of I DON'T CARE, and the actors appear to be allowed to do as they please. This is a rather unpleasant film, that is quite revealing, and also blatant, about its subject. It is the complete description of how four friends ( a chef, a TV writer, a pilot and a judge ) decide to go on a retreat and do it all - eat, drink, sex, you name it -- until they are dead. The main theme is over indulgence, and there is no fine
line, as to where it should stop, or where it could be a bit more ... appropriate.

But in between, the jokes and attacks -- four professionals finally let go of their world -- on the modern world, is vicious, creative, weird, and herrr,..... messy.

Having all the sex, food, and drink that they could ever wish for, the film goes on until the four are done. And all four actors turn loose, in a fashion that is not always found in stage or film. Let's just say that this film 'gets it on' in ways more than one. From death/sex jokes, to chicken jokes on American comedy (check out the chicken in the aquarium and the ensuing jokes), to the women who have been bought for the bacchanalia. Nothing is sacred here.

It is also clear that all four male actors in this film, were at the time at the top of their profession, and were indeed acting out the fantasies which one always talks about. And
let go they do.

It's hard to think that this is an acting thing ... it is much more of a Hollywood type pastiche, but it has one thing that Hollywood and American things do not have ... it has the "I don't give a damn" quotient, and this is what makes this film funny and ok. It's not a pleasant film by the end (of course), but it takes every bit and piece to its logical conclusion... the end.

In a bit of fun, this is the film where you can see where Peter Greenaway grew up ... sort of ... by comparison he does the same thing but the actors are focused on things a bit better. You never get the feeling that this film is meant for anything except a lot of fun and everyone gets paid for it.

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3 GIBLOONS

   

      

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